ERC launches regional startup ideation lab with a war chest of US$718K

It will offer qualified startups up to US$36,000 in funding

Singapore-based entrepreneurship resource provider company Entrepreneur Resource Centre Holdings (ERC) has announced the launch of its new regional startup ideation lab, BIGFund.

The six-month programme aims to nurture startups with scalable ideas to commercialisation stage and roll them out in regional markets including Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

With a S$1 million (US$718,000) fund, BIGFund will offer up to S$50,000 (US$36,000) worth of funding in cash and in-kind support.

These would include S$5,000 (US$3,600) to develop their prototype for market testing; S$10,000 (US$7,200) worth of rent-free workspace at BIG Work; a co-working space under ERC Holdings in Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam; S$10,000 (US$7,200) worth of marketing support through ERC; and S$3,000 (US$2,156) for students and alumni from ERC Institute’s (ERCi – the education arm of ERC holdings) partner universities.

A spokesperson for ERC said that BIGFund does not focus on startups in specific verticals. However, it taps on ERC Holdings’ domain expertise in the hospitality, education, entrepreneurship and real estate sectors. It also provides corporate mentorship from a community of experts with backgrounds in the financial, marketing, legal, retail and hospitality industry.

The ideation lab was created to help students and alumni of ERCi build their business solutions.

“Many of our students and alumni look forward to starting businesses of their own upon graduation. However, not many of them have the opportunities to sustain past the ideation phases due to limitations such as cash flow, networks and the essential resources that are required for them to enter the regional market,” said Yen Ong, Founder of BIG Work at ERC Holdings, in an official press statement.

“As an education body that encourages our community of students and alumni to be entrepreneurial, we created BIGFund to serve as a launchpad for them to gain immediate access to the most fundamental resources for market penetration, giving them a head start on the onset,” said Ong.

For the first intake, applications close on January 3, 2017 and finalists will be invited to present their business ideas at Super Pitch Day end of March 2017.

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Article by: Yong Heong Tung

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31 October 2016

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